NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – As New York City preps to take on its new taxis, the Taxi and Limousine Commission is welcoming its new partner in Nissan.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports

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Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky said the company is doing something else that could be a long term game changer.

“Nissan is the only manufacturer we looked at that is not just willing to but is committed to an electric vehicle future, and starting at the very beginning of 2012 we’ll have on the road six electric vehicles as taxis,” he said.

Nissan will be making the city’s new taxi. In 2013, New Yorkers will start seeing the new fleet of 25-mile-per-gallon, $29,000 Nissan minivans with sliding doors and see through roofs.

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Nissan is donating a half dozen 100 percent electric vehicles for the pilot program, which will begin next year.

A full charge, though, takes 20 hours using regular house current and seven hours if using 220.

Yassky said that won’t deter the business owners from taking on the new taxis.

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“These folks here who run these businesses-they know it’s an open question whether we can marry the technology of electric vehicle to the very particular business plans of taxis, which often involve 24/7 service.”